A Friend At The IRS

Did you know that there is someone working at the IRS that you can turn to when you have problems with your federal taxes?  There is.  It’s called the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent arm of the IRS whose job is specifically to help taxpayers with their problems.

The IRS published a tax tip (back a couple of months ago) which lists ten facts that the IRS wants you to know.  The actual text of Summertime Tax Tip 2012-12 is below.

Taxpayer Advocate Service: Helping You Resolve Tax Problems

The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers who are experiencing unresolved federal tax problems.  Here are 10 things every taxpayer should know about TAS:

  1. The Taxpayer Advocate Service is your voice at the IRS.
  2. TAS assistance is free and tailored to meet your needs.
  3. You may be eligible for TAS help if you’ve tried to resolve your tax problem through normal IRS channels and have gotten nowhere, or if you are facing (or your business is facing) an immediate action from the IRS that will adversely affect you.
  4. The worst thing you can do is nothing at all!
  5. TAS helps individual and business taxpayers whose tax problems are causing financial difficulty, which could include the cost of hiring professional representation, such as a tax attorney.
  6. If you qualify for TAS help, you’ll be assigned one advocate who will do everything possible to get your problem resolved.
  7. There is ad least one local Taxpayer Advocate office in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.  You can obtain the number of your local Taxpayer Advocate from your local phone book, in Pub. 1546, Taxpayer Advocate Service – Your Voice at the IRS and on the IRS website at IRS.gov/advocate.  You can also call TAS toll-free at 1-877-777-4778.
  8. As a taxpayer, ,you have rights that the IRS must abide by when working with you.  Our tax toolkit website at www.TaxpayerAdvocate.irs.gov can help you understand these rights.
  9. TAS also handles tax problems that may have a broad impact on more than just one taxpayer.  You can report these “systemic” issues to TAS through Systemic Advocacy Management System at IRS.gov/advocate.
  10. You can get updates on hot tax topics by visiting the TAS YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/TASNTA and the TAS Facebook page at www.facebook.com/YourVoiceAtIRS, or by following TAS tweets at www.twitter.com/YourVoiceAtIRS.

About the author

Jim Blankenship, CFP®, EA

Jim Blankenship is the founder and principal of Blankenship Financial Planning, Ltd., a financial planning firm providing hourly, as-needed financial planning and advice. A financial services professional for over 25 years, Jim is a CFP professional and has earned the Enrolled Agent designation, a designation that qualifies him as enrolled to practice before the IRS. Jim is also a NAPFA-registered financial advisor, which designates him as a Fee-Only Financial Advisor.

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